Limited Lessons – Faeries in Lorwyn

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With the aftermath of Worlds playing havoc with the schedule, Nick Eisel moves up to Monday with another tribal archetype strategy guide! Thus far, he’s fed us Elementals, Kithkin, Giants, Merfolk, and Goblins. Next up, it’s the pro’s favorite – Faeries! If you’re looking to draft a control archetype in triple Lorwyn, let Nick show you how…

This week I’m back to another tribal strategy guide in an attempt to cover all of the tribes before the next set is released. I think these will prove to be very beneficial come Morningtide, as we can refer back to them and see how the archetypes will evolve and change in the presence of new cards.

This week I want to talk about Faeries, which is one of the stronger tribes, and also one with nearly limitless options in terms of a second color. The main reason that you have free reign for deciding on a second color is because most of the Faeries in Lorwyn are just good cards in general, and don’t necessarily rely on tribal loyalties. Some examples of this are Sentinels of Glen Elendra and Pestermite, which are both excellent fliers on their own and just happen to be Faeries if you want to focus more on the tribe. Of course, there are some Faeries that are only good if you have a high tribal count as well, and I want to discuss all of that here.

Since you can pretty much play any second color I’m not going to go into great detail on every possible option, as that would be too time consuming. Instead, I’m going to talk about the main forms of the Faerie archetype as well as any other cards that may be especially good in this type of deck. When you get into the deck you’ll generally end up in U/B or U/B/r, and those are the color combinations I want to focus on.


Since I already did the Merfolk strategy guide I want to try and focus on Faeries in this article, even though you will usually be playing some Merfolk in the deck anyway.

Silvergill Douser
So the best Faerie is actually a Merfolk? Seems to be that way.

Another important thing I want to mention is that usually Faeries and Merfolk combine well together and you should get used to the interactions between the two tribes. Usually if I end up in a Faerie/Merfolk mix I’ll be U/B/w or U/W/b.

The Douser is just unbelievable, and has been talked about quite a bit in strategy articles. He stops any kind of offense while you attack through the air with Faeries, and also makes it very hard for your opponent to trade with any of your creatures. The best thing about this card is that when you take it you can go down one of two paths or mix the two together, and these are all great options.

Dreamspoiler Witches
A good deal of the Faeries are instant speed which makes this guy even better than he would normally be.

As a general rule you should be drafting with the idea of playing Instant speed Magic when in the Faerie archetype. This makes your counterspells more valuable and keeps your opponent off balance because he can’t just avoid playing his bomb when you have Faerie Trickery mana up and hope to gain some sort of tempo advantage. The reason for this is that you should just be casting a Sentinel or Pestermite and making him waste his mana by trying to play around your counters.

Faeries is as close to an actual control deck as you can get in this format, and it makes card values shift in favor of Instants whenever possible. Since this is the strategy we’re aiming for, it’d make sense that Dreamspoiler Witches is a bomb in the archetype.

Nightshade Stinger
As sad as it sounds I really like this guy in the archetype. And no, it’s not because I think he’s a good attacker, but rather he powers up your Thieving and Spellstutter Sprites in the earlier stages of the game since you aren’t doing anything on turn one anyway.

Faerie Trickery and Broken Ambitions
These are at their premium in this archetype since you want to keep mana up for Flash guys anyway. I like playing multiples of these because opponents usually assume you only have one counter and then play their best spell second right into another counter.

Thieving Sprite
A flying Ravenous Rat at bare minimum, this guy is excellent when you get multiples or just a lot of Faeries in general. Don’t feel the need to play this on turn three unless you have other tribal abilities you’re trying to power up to like Spellstutter Sprite or simply more Thieving sisters.

Spellstutter Sprite
This is the dream card for the Faerie deck because when it’s good, it’s really good. What I mean by this is that when you assemble multiples of these and double digit Faeries, your deck should be very difficult to beat. If you end up in more of a hybrid archetype this usually doesn’t make the cut, but if we’re aiming for full-blown Faeries this is exactly what you want. In general I take Thieving Sprite over this because it always makes the main and is pro-active. If nothing else this is a decent sideboard card against the guy with multiple Tarfires.

Skeletal Changeling
It’s a Faerie and it can help to hold the ground. That being said, I’m not a huge fan as the plan is to keep mana up, and using it to regenerate this dork is not exactly what I had in mind.

Good for obvious reasons, but especially good in conjunction with Dreamspoiler Witches. I’d play two of these maindeck, but I also tend to pick the good Faeries over this anyway.

Eyeblight’s Ending
I’m only mentioning this here because it’s an Instant and fits the overall game-plan better than it would in other decks. The problem is that Elves is a nearly unwinnable matchup for the Faerie deck, and having this card in your deck certainly isn’t going to help matters. Still a great card, and good in the overall plan of the archetype.

Sentinels of Glen Elendra and Pestermite
The cream of the crop. I talked about Pestermite in my underrated cards article so take a look at that if you’re wondering about all of the nifty tricks you can do with him.

Whirlpool Whelm
I like this card because it lets you stop a big guy from turning the damage race against you. You’re trying to win with a bunch of small fliers by swarming the opponent and you need a way to stop his bigger guys from getting there first. This is also good with Spellstutter and any other 187 abilities you have, like Mulldrifter obviously.

If I haven’t gotten the point across yet, the general plan is to be doing things on your opponent’s turn as often as possible. This makes a card like Streambed Aquitects excellent in the archetype because it is a good wall on the ground that will buy you time to set up your better interactions. Don’t think just because you have no other Merfolk you shouldn’t be taking this guy just to act as a Horned Turtle. Whenever I add Red to the deck I’m usually doing so for Tarfire or Lash Out, which both again fit the Instant speed theme and deal with anything that slips past your countermagic. Obviously Nameless Inversion is insane, and I’m not going to devote any more space to it than that.

Uncommons and Rares

Marsh Flitter
This guy is so good because he’s cheap. He gives you some nice guys to gum up the ground and can also hit for three himself if you’re just attacking in the air.

Faerie Tauntings
Unfortunately this is just too slow to be good. At two mana this might be very strong if you drafted a bunch of Instants, but three is too much. Another thing to consider is that this archetype is trying to play the control role, and dealing a point here or there is not going to add up to a game win very often.

Faerie Harbinger
Instant speed? This is probably the best Harbinger, because it fits the tribe so well and also has evasion. The Treefolk Harbinger is close though because of the ability to search up a Forest. Pick this and pick it very highly as you won’t get it back on the lap.

Glen Elendra Pranksters
This is such a great card in the archetype as it’s a good blocker, can go off with Spellstutter and Thieving Sprite or something like Mulldrifter. I usually take this over most of the common Faeries since it’s harder to get, though multiples isn’t really great unless you’ve assembled the illusive multiple Spellstutter fifteen Faerie concoction.

Turtleshell Changeling
A Faerie and good at holding the ground. Not sure what else this archetype could ask for for four mana, but this is definitely a high pick.

Familiar’s Ruse
This is just unbelievable in the archetype. It’s cheap, it lets you reuse a Thieving or Spellstutter Sprite, or simply go nuts with Dreamspoiler Witches and a Flash creature. And it’s a hard counter to boot. This is one of the good cards you can actually get late in the archetype since nobody else will want it.

Oona’s Prowler
Cheap and efficient. This card is great since it comes down early and hits hard while you’re keeping mana up to counter or kill things. If your opponent is pitching cards to shrink it he’s probably in a world of hurt anyway since you shouldn’t be attacking it into a 2/2 flier.

Mistbind Clique
This guy is sick. It’s big for the cost, locks your opponent’s mana out for a turn, and lets you reuse a Thieving Sprite if possible. Not too much more to say here, except to slam this if there’s any chance of you getting into the archetype.

Scion of Oona
Most of the Faeries are very small and have trouble killing anyone. This helps out and also can be used as a trick to save one of your guys with the Shroud ability. Again it has Flash and fits with the overall theme.

Sower of Temptation
This is quite the bomb, and as long as you can protect it you should easily be able to win. It’s nice with Familiar’s Ruse too, if you decide you need to take something better later in the game.

Cryptic Command
I can’t think of a better card to open in this type of strategy.

Wydwen, the Biting Gale
This is probably my favorite gold lord to open and it is very hard to beat in most scenarios. One thing that sucks is that people expect you to play Sentinels of Glen Elendra when you have four mana up so you won’t get to ambush someone with this as much as you would if Sentinels didn’t exist. Regardless, it can return to your hand and is a very good attacker on its own.

As usual I have a couple of decklists to share.

9 Island
8 Swamp
Broken Ambitions
Dreamspoiler Witches
Eyeblight’s Ending
Faerie Harbinger
Faerie Trickery
Familiar’s Ruse
Glen Elendra Pranksters
Mistbind Clique
Nightshade Stinger
2 Pestermite
2 Sentinels of Glen Elendra
Silvergill Douser
Skeletal Changeling
2 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Thieving Sprite
Warren Pilferers
Weed Strangle

This was one of the best straight Faerie decklists I’ve ever had. It had all of the pieces, and I believe I went 2-0 and drew in the finals of an 8-4 with this.

The second deck I want to share is what happens when you go a little crazier but still have a solid base in Faeries.

2 Fertile Ground
7 Forest
7 Island
2 Swamp
Cloudcrown Oak
Dreamspoiler Witches
Faerie Harbinger
Gilt-Leaf Ambush
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Incremental Growth
Leaf Gilder
Marsh Flitter
3 Pestermite
Primal Command
Scattering Stroke
Scion of Oona
Sentinels of Glen Elendra
Silvergill Douser
Streambed Aquitects
Thieving Sprite
Whirlpool Whelm
Wydwen, the Biting Gale

This deck had a lot of synergy and could do some truly crazy things. One play I made more than once was to untap a Fertile Grounded land with Pestermite and make him cost effectively one mana. This is more of an aggressive look at how you can draft Faeries.

However you end up doing so, this is a tribe with lots of very strong cards and options for creativity during the draft. Maybe next week I’ll write about the Fertile Ground archetype if there’s enough interest in the forums, as that’s what I’ve been drafting lately. Let me know if that’s something you guys would like to see.

Nick Eisel
Soooooo on MTGO
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